Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? Have you completely given up on the current dating scene? Online dating websites are an excellent way to meet new, exciting people or explore your sensual side. With our review of the 9 best free dating sites for 2022, love could be as close as the phone in your pocket.
If your usual method of meeting people and finding dates has proven fruitless, signing up for a dating site or app could be the answer. However, not every online dating site is the same. Some are ideal for people who want a serious relationship. Others are for young adults who want a quick, no-strings-attached hookup, and some even target ultra-specific dating niches.
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But how do you choose the best free dating site? You’re in luck: we’ve got all the info you need right here. We conducted in-depth reviews of the top ten free dating sites and apps for 2022, analyzing key features like target audience, ease of use, matching algorithms, and more.
The 9 Best Free Dating Sites and Apps of 2022
- Zoosk: Best online dating site overall
- eHarmony: Best dating app for serious relationship seekers
- DateMyAge: Best free dating site for singles over 40
- Dating.com: Best for international online daters
- Elite Singles: Favorite dating app for busy professionals
- ChristianCafe: Best free dating app for Christians
- Ashley Madison: Best for married people seeking an affair
- Seeking: Best luxury dating site for successful singles
- SilverSingles: Best for singles over 50
Honorable Mentions: Plenty of Fish, Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and Match.com
#1. Zoosk: Best Free Dating Site Overall
Zoosk.com has been offering its online dating app since 2007 and has accumulated over 30 million user accounts. It’s the most popular dating website on Apple’s App Store and is also available through Google Play and as a browser-based desktop service.
What sets Zoosk apart from other free online dating sites is the sheer number of options. Other free dating sites may focus on long-term relationships or casual encounters, but only Zoosk offers options for everything and everyone. No matter what type of relationship you want, Zoosk is here to help you find a potential partner.
One of the things that makes Zoosk one of the most popular dating apps available is that it sticks to the traditional model of creating profiles, taking a personality test, and finding partners with similar interests and goals. While it does have the more modern swipe-style option, the meat of the site focuses on guided matchmaking.
Zoosk’s sign-up process is relatively straightforward. Once you create a free dating profile, you’ll get eight questions to answer before you can start viewing profiles. It’s up to you how many of these questions you want to answer and how in-depth you want to go on the personality test. While this speeds up the sign-up process, it does mean that you can get lower-quality results and incomplete profiles.
Once you’ve signed up to this free dating site, you can start browsing through matches and start your dating journey. Zoosk offers several options, including messaging and video calls. This free dating app also has all of the necessary privacy features to ensure that you have full control over your account and messaging, so you won’t get too many uncomfortable experiences.
Just like any other online dating website, Zoosk works on a subscription-based model. The basic free membership allows users to create profiles and browse through singles in their area, but you’ll have to upgrade to a subscription to send messages and chat with your connections.
Subscribers also get access to “Great Dates,” a virtual dating service that allows you to go on video dates with potential partners. What makes the service unique is that you can choose a destination that will be the backdrop for the experience. Destinations include places such as Italy, Greece, and Japan.
In addition to subscriptions, Zoosk users can buy Zoosk coins, a digital currency that lets you boost your profile or send other users gifts such as emojis and digital pictures. Zoosk coins are an optional extra and don’t come as part of the regular subscription service.
- Huge selection of profiles ranging from friendships to casual dating and long-term relationships
- Available in over 80 countries
- Affordable subscription plans
- Fast sign-up process
- Good gender mix with an increasing number of women
- The sheer number of options can feel overwhelming
- The quick personality test may result in fewer good matches
- Most users tend to be under 50, so not the best platform for older singles
#2. Eharmony: Best Dating Site for Serious Relationships
eHarmony is one of the biggest dating sites in the world, with over 10 million users and 750,000 paid subscribers. The dating website has come a long way since its inception in 2000 and was one of the first sites to introduce compatibility quizzes to help users find their perfect match. It remains one of the best free dating sites around due to its relatively equal gender balance and easy-to-use interface.
eHarmony has an extensive sign-up process that can take up to an hour to complete (or even longer if you take the compatibility quiz seriously).
The first step requires you to create an account. You can choose to create a manual account using your email or connect your Facebook or Apple account to eHarmony. If you choose the first method, you’ll need to fill in all your details, including your name, location, age, and profile picture. If you link a Facebook or Apple account, eHarmony will automatically take that information from your profile and import it into your eHarmony account. Be careful about what information you allow eHarmony to access since it can look at your timeline, relationship status, and even likes, which may lead to privacy concerns.
The longest part of the eHarmony sign-up process is the compatibility quiz. eHarmony uses this quiz to get a strong impression of what you want from a partner, your personality, and even how you feel about yourself, all in the quest to find the perfect match. The quiz can take a good chunk of time to complete, which is why eHarmony lets you save at any point in the process.
Once you’ve completed the quiz, you can start looking for matches. Every profile you examine will have a compatibility score — the higher, the better. Once you find a profile you like, you can start messaging and hopefully developing a long-term relationship.
eHarmony’s basic free trial is relatively generous, allowing you to create a profile, search for singles and browse through other profiles. What you can’t do is send messages, which for most people on the site, is the entire point. eHarmony does offer free communication weekends and subscription discounts regularly, and it may be worthwhile investing in these if you want to take advantage of the full eHarmony experience.
Unlike many other free dating apps and online dating sites, eHarmony doesn’t offer subscription tiers. Instead, it offers one premium service; the only thing that changes is the length of your subscription and the monthly price you pay. The longer you stay subscribed, the less your membership cost.
- Best free dating app for serious relationships
- Highly detailed matchmaking and compatibility algorithm
- Good gender ratio (51% men to 49% women)
- Easy to navigate and use
- Wide range of ages and interests
- A clear focus on long-term relationships
- Video dating as well as messaging
- Not focused on casual dating or flings
- Longer sign-up process than other free online dating sites
#3. DateMyAge.com: Best Dating App for Singles Over 40
DateMyAge.com is a dating site for middle-aged adults looking for serious long-term relationships. Most of the site’s users are over 40, or people looking to date over-40s, and the platform offers multiple contact options, including email, chat, and video chat.
Unlike many other dating sites, even trial members can send limited messages to other users. However, once you get past a certain point, you’ll need to pay for any additional messages you send.
DateMyAge.com’s sign-up process starts by filling out a short form where you have to input your age, gender, and preferred age range. The site will then prompt you to create an account, either by linking your existing Google account or by creating a manual profile. If you choose to link your Google account, the platform will automatically fill in the basic information fields and let you move on to the next part of the process. If you choose to use another email, you’ll need to fill in this basic information manually.
Once you provide information about yourself and your ideal partner, the site will redirect you to the members’ area, where you can start interacting with other users. DateMyAge.com provides multiple ways to find and chat with people.
Unlike some of the best dating sites, DateMyAge uses a very simple algorithm to filter search results, and you’ll need to pay to access more advanced filter options. What this ultimately means is that you’ll spend a lot of time going through dating profiles that aren’t a good match.
DateMyAge.com works on a credit-based system where users spend digital currency to access the features they want. Users buy credits on a monthly subscription with three tiers: 50 credits, 600 credits, or 1,500 credits per month. The higher the tier, the lower the cost per credit.
Users can spend their credits on video calls, reading and sending messages, purchasing gifts, or accessing some of the platform’s unique features. Some innovative features of DateMyAge.com include a multi-messaging feature, which sends an introductory message to multiple profiles, and broadcasts where users can share live videos for all members to see.
One way to save money is to use the DateMyAge.com mobile app instead of the desktop version. The app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store and has a much more affordable subscription plan. By signing up for this plan, users get access to the Let’s Mingle service and 50% off all purchases, making it a more affordable option that provides more benefits than the browser-based option of the site.
- Best dating site for singles over 40
- A flexible and easy-to-use app
- A targeted dating site that makes it easier to find people who share your interests
- Advanced search filters that let you hone in on the perfect match
- Partial refunds for unused subscription credits
- Relatively balanced gender proportion
- Intrusive push notifications that can feel spammy
- Messaging features that are extremely expensive compared to other sites
- Limited matches for queer women and men
#4. Dating.Com: Best for International Dating
Half of the fun of dating is not knowing who you’ll meet and whether you’ll hit it off. Unfortunately, most online dating apps use algorithms to find the “perfect match,” which can dramatically reduce the variety of people you meet. Dating.com aims to offer a broader appeal, with many features to create a more flexible and streamlined approach to dating.
The platform itself is minimalist, without many of the features other dating apps have. However, that’s a bonus, as it means you get a streamlined experience that you can adjust on the fly.
The “Today I Am” feature is a perfect example of a useful tool that lets you change your dating goals based on your current mood without switching your entire profile. The site also has video chat, which is an excellent perk if you’re considering international dating.
Signing up for Dating.com is extremely simple: Use your email to open an account and fill in some basic information. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll get full access to all of Dating.com’s profiles and users without the need for a personality test or other verification steps.
We found Dating.com’s sign-up process to be a double-edged sword. While it’s quick and easy, it does mean that you’ll find plenty of bots and incomplete profiles. We strongly recommend following safe online dating practices and verifying the person you’re talking to via video chat to confirm their identity before meeting up.
Dating.com doesn’t use a traditional subscription model. Instead, users purchase a digital currency that they spend on various features. For instance, sending a message will cost one credit, while sending an email costs up to 15 credits. Video chats are even more expensive, and Dating.com charges by the minute.
Credits come in three bundles: small, medium, and large. The bigger the bundle, the less you pay per credit, but the higher the up-front cost. We recommend sticking to smaller bundles until you figure out your monthly usage and choose the best one that fits your needs.
- Large user base compared to most of the best dating apps
- Most popular dating app for international dating
- Slick and easy-to-use interface
- Highly adaptable features that allow you to customize your dating experience on the fly
- Signup process is absolutely free
- Many dating options for same sex couples, queer women, and gay men
- Feature costs that can add up quickly
- No refunds on credits if you decide to leave the platform
- Free trial doesn’t unlock all of the dating.com site features
#5. Elite Singles: Best Dating Service for Busy Professionals
While one-size-fits-all dating sites like Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, and Zoosk offer a multitude of options, some people find they get better results with more targeted dating apps. Elite Singles is a dating site that provides a smaller but higher-quality dating pool to individuals who value intelligence, seriousness, and looks.
While this may sound snobby and elitist, we found that the experience was anything but. Instead, Elite Singles caters to people who want serious relationships and are looking for genuine connections rather than flings and casual hookups. The site’s approach is down-to-earth and results-based—and with a constantly growing user base, you’re likely to find plenty of people to talk to.
Elite Singles follows the traditional online dating model, where users create accounts, set profiles, and look for matches. The site has a robust algorithm and an extensive personality test to ensure high-quality potential partners. While Elite Singles markets itself as the place to find highly-educated individuals, you don’t need a college degree to use the platform. If you’re serious about dating, you’ll find a warm welcome on the site.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to complete a rather extensive personality test. Elite Singles used to have a much longer test (over 100 questions), but it has trimmed this down while still asking relevant, in-depth questions. Most people complete this questionnaire within 20 minutes, but you can always save and come back later to finish your profile if you get sidetracked.
Users only get access to matches and other people’s profiles after completing the quiz. This guarantees that you won’t find any incomplete profiles or flaky matches. Instead, you’ll find partners who have also taken the time and effort to complete the signup process and are invested in finding their ideal partner.
While Elite Singles uses its algorithm to pair up potential matches, you can adjust your preferences at any time to widen your search. The site allows you to weigh how important certain aspects, like age, distance, children, and smoking habits are, which will change the profiles you see.
Elite Singles works on a subscription model. The free plan lets you take the personality test and set up your profile and even lets you receive messages. It’s a great place to start and see if the site is for you. However, if you want to get full use of the platform, you’ll need to upgrade to a Premium account, which offers:
- Unlimited communication
- Ability to view member photos
- Read receipts on your messages
- See who visited your profile
- Access to the mobile app
As with most subscriptions, the longer you stay subscribed, the lower your monthly cost.
- One of the best free dating apps for professionals
- A rapidly growing user base
- Operating in 25 countries
- Offering in-person and virtual speed-dating events
- Most site members with tertiary degrees or higher-level certifications
- Tinder-style “Have you met” feature that contains profile information as well as photos
- Options for PoC and LGBTQ+ individuals
- Relatively high subscription fees
- Slightly dated user interface
- Smaller user base compared to other dating sites
#6. ChristianCafe: Best for Christians
Since 1999, ChristianCafe has been connecting Christian singles. The online Christian dating site has a free ten-day trial, but you’ll have to upgrade to a paid subscription after it expires. The sign-up process is straightforward and only takes five minutes to complete.
As the name indicates, the target demographic of ChristianCafe is Christian singles, with 60% of its members between 25 and 44. You don’t have to be the world’s most devout Christian to join, but most members prioritize faith in their everyday life. The site caters exclusively to heterosexual couples living a faith-based life and looking for love, friendship, or a long-term relationship.
ChristianCafe has a straightforward interface and features you won’t find on other apps. For example, members can post prayers, read blog posts with Christian dating tips, chat on user forums, and use the messaging service, which features read receipts.
You can log onto the ChristianCafe website or download the iOS/Android compatible dating app.
ChristianCafe features a QuickMatch algorithm, which uses your open-ended profile answers to determine potential dates. The method works well and has ultimately resulted in about 25,000 marriages between members. You can also check out the 3,000+ testimonials from happy couples praising ChristianCafe.
#7. Ashley Madison: Best for Married Couples
For almost 20 years, Ashley Madison has been the most popular online dating app designed for married people who want to spice up their life with an extramarital affair. The sign-up process only requires basic information and takes about five minutes. Privacy is a huge priority with Ashley Madison. The site has beefed up its safety features in recent years since the infamous 2015 breach and exposure of confidential user data such as names, passwords, addresses, and phone numbers.
Ashley Madison caters exclusively to married individuals. If you’re looking for more serious relationships, it’s perhaps not your cup of tea. However, it’s one of the best options for casual dating and affairs. Ashley Madison is entirely free for women, whereas men must buy credits to use the site.
It couldn’t be easier to browse profiles on Ashley Madison and find the perfect match for your next affair. Although the profiles only contain the basics with no details, discretion is kind of the point. Users can send and receive messages, “wink” at members they like, and save profiles as favorites.
Ashley Madison gives members the option to send messages and browse dating profiles online or download the iOS/Android compatible mobile app.
The algorithm Ashley Madison uses isn’t quite as sophisticated as what you’ll find on dating websites that emphasize compatibility. Instead, it uses three primary criteria: geographical location, profile information, and personal preferences based on your interactions.
#8. Seeking: Popular Online Dating App for Successful Singles
Seeking.com’s sign-up process is relatively simple and asks for basic demographic information. Sugar daddies can opt for a free trial, but they must upgrade to the paid version when it expires. Sugar babies can create a free account, with every college student receiving a free premium upgrade.
Formerly known as Seeking Arrangement, Seeking.com isn’t like the other sites on this list. Instead, it’s a popular dating app for the niche market of sugar babies looking to meet successful, well-to-do sugar daddies who are seeking a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s true that most users on the site prioritize sex. However, many members are simply searching for someone to take care of them and make them feel special.
Seeking.com lacks the overwhelming bells and whistles that other dating sites feature, making it very user-friendly. Browse through potential matches or filter through Featured Members, Premium Members, and Background Verified Members. The ability to send video chat messages is also a nice touch.
Seeking has a mobile app for Android users. Also, you can head to Seeking.com and use the web version of this popular online dating site.
The primary matching algorithm on Seeking.com lies deep within its advanced search and filter functions. You can quickly browse profiles to view the most relevant ones, using filters like age, relationship status, education, body type, language, and more.
#9. SilverSingles: Best for Online Daters Over 50
SilverSingles is the best dating app for singles over 50. Similar to other contenders for the best dating sites, SilverSingles features an in-depth sign-up process. Between the personality test and essay-style questions, you can give your profile a personal touch and connect with your most compatible matches on the popular senior dating app.
Are you a silver fox or entering your golden years? SilverSingles is the best choice for singles over 50 looking to enter the dating world. The site’s members are diverse, each with unique hobbies, lifestyles, personalities, looks, and interests. It’s perfect for people over 50 seeking companionship, friendship, or that one single person for a serious relationship.
SilverSingles gives you the option to browse online or download the mobile app. It’s a free site, but you can’t view any photos on member profiles unless you pay for a subscription.
Remember the extensive questionnaire and personality test new members take when they sign up? Those answers form the basis for this popular online dating site’s matching algorithm. Then, the site does all the work for you by sending each potential match directly to your inbox. The algorithm works well, matching about 2,000 couples successfully each month.
How Do Online Dating Sites Work?
How do the best online dating sites connect members with high-quality matches? Most dating apps and online dating platforms use complex mathematical algorithms that consider various factors for each member—like location, profile answers, and user interactions—to determine their matches with the highest compatibility.
However, the simplicity or complexity of the algorithm depends on the target audience of the app you’re using. Generally, online dating apps that target members who want a casual, no-strings hookup (think Tinder and Bumble) will have simpler algorithms that focus heavily on factors like location, gender, popularity, and attractiveness.
The best free dating sites that target singles searching for a serious, long-term romance (think eHarmony or Coffee Meets Bagel) usually have much more intricate algorithms. Those algorithms will heavily feature core values, interests, hobbies, relationship goals, and personality characteristics to generate high-quality matches.
Once you match with another member, you can take it further by messaging them in-app or using chat functions like instant messaging or video calls. Most online dating sites function similarly to social media platforms and are just as easy to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are prepaid dating sites better than free dating apps?
While it’s always tempting to use a totally free app for dating, if you’re serious about meeting someone that you might want to connect with beyond a first date or even a second date, your best bet is to sign up for a paid membership to your platform of choice.
The primary benefit of paying is to access the advanced, premium features that free accounts can’t use and an ad-free interface. However, here’s the best reason: it’s a safe bet that any person willing to shell out a good chunk of change to use a dating site is probably serious about making a connection. You’re less likely to encounter “tire kickers” (also known as time-wasters) on a paid dating site than a free one.
What is the top dating site for a serious relationship?
If you’re searching for a serious, long-term relationship, the top online dating site to use is eharmony. With its in-depth profile questions and an advanced matching algorithm that uses 29 different compatibility criteria, you’re more likely to meet that special someone and form an authentic connection. Plus, eharmony has millions of active users, which means a huge dating pool of available singles.
How to decide which online dating website is right for me?
While using a completely free dating site is all well and good, you should consider a few critical factors before taking out your credit card. First, determine your relationship goals. Do you want a casual hookup? Friendship? Or are you looking for a long-term, serious relationship?
Next, ask yourself how much free time you have to commit to dating and whether you can manage an appropriate balance within your existing obligations. Decide how important premium features are to you when searching for matches. Finally, to get the highest-quality matches, consider your unique romance or relationship needs before creating a profile.
Are there any free dating sites for singles over 50?
Yes! Singles over 50 years old deserve love too, and you can find it on one of the most popular online dating sites for seniors: SilverSingles. It’s free to create an account, but you’ll have to pay for a subscription if you want to view photos of the other members.
However, SilverSingles is perfect for seniors searching for companionship, friendship, casual dates, or long-term romance. With an in-depth questionnaire and matching algorithm, you’re sure to forge genuine connections with other members who share your interests and passions.